Life with Psoriasis

Psoriasis can impact your life in many ways. It affects the way you feel about yourself, the clothes you choose to wear, the way you manage symptoms and the way you care for your overall health. The itch and appearance of psoriasis may get in the way of your life, whether you're at work or school, pregnant, or in a romantic relationship.

 
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Psoriasis might make you feel isolated. You might believe that no one understands you. But you aren’t the first person to go through this. Other people are going through what you are going through right now, and they are thriving. So can you.

Here are some ways to manage your psoriasis in everyday situations.

Overall Health

Related Conditions

People with psoriasis are at higher risk for certain related conditions, like cardiovascular (heart) disease, depression and other mental health issues, and metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. These related diseases are known as comorbidities. Learn more through our fact sheet on related conditions from the Patient Navigation Center.

Stress

Stress is a common trigger for a psoriasis flare. Stress also can make itch worse. This makes managing stress a particularly important skill for people with psoriasis. Consider the following ways some people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are effectively reducing stress in their lives.

  • Meditation.
  • Exercise (Consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise routine.)
  • Get outside help.

Day to Day

Stigma

Findings from a 2015 research study demonstrated that psoriasis is highly stigmatizing, and carries about the same level of stigma as herpes. Many of the study participants believed the psoriasis was infectious and contagious. Psoriasis is neither infectious nor contagious, and NPF is working hard to change this misconception. You can help by educating those around you in your everyday life.

At School and in the Workplace

Psoriasis goes where you go, so it’s important to learn how to handle psoriasis in these spaces. That includes how to speak about psoriasis to teachers, administrators and students or to managers and coworkers. There are ways to help people understand your situation and point of view.

Relationships

It may be difficult to talk to your partner, friends and family about your psoriasis and how it affects your life. You’ll probably feel embarrassed, or that you might drive people away if only they knew the truth about you. But embarrassment is natural, and the people who care about you want to know how to support you. Don’t avoid these conversations, embrace them.

Clothing

Psoriasis is nothing to be embarrassed about, but you may not want it to be the first thing someone sees. Certain clothes and fabrics, combined with moisturizing, can help you look and feel your best in any situation or season.

Please speak with a health care professional if you are struggling with day to day life with psoriasis.

Managing Symptoms

Itch 

The itch of psoriasis may have a bigger impact on quality of life than the visible effect of the disease. Learn how you can help manage itch by contacting our free Patient Navigation Center.

Dryness/Cracking

Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch can be a symptom of psoriasis. Additionally, if your skin is dry, you may experience more severe psoriasis flares. If you are looking for a product to keep you skin moisturized, learn more about NPF's Seal of Recognition, which highlights over-the-counter products that are intended to be safe and effective for people with psoriatic disease. 

Nails

Nail psoriasis can affect several digits (fingers and toes), and related pain and tenderness can impact daily activities. Common signs of nail psoriasis include pitting, deformation, thickening, onycholysis, discoloration. Request a free nail psoriasis quick guide.

Swollen and Stiff Joints (Screen for PsA)

Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis. If you are experiencing swollen and stiff joints, you can answer 5 short questions to screen for PsA with NPF's PEST tool.

Mental Health

People with psoriasis are more likely to become depressed. It's important to look for symptoms of depression and seek treatment if you need it. Learn how to cope with depression with our fact sheet on emotional impacts from the Patient Navigation Center.

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Women with Psoriasis

For women, treating psoriasis has extra considerations, including pregnancy and intimacy.

Learn more about living with psoriasis as a woman
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Men with Psoriasis

Psoriasis affects men and women at an equal rate but treating psoriasis as a man may take some extra considerations.

Learn more about living with psoriasis as a man

Resources

The National Psoriasis Foundation has tools, resources and programs to help you manage your psoriasis and thrive in your life.

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Team NPF

Connect with our community through Team NPF.

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One to One

Talk to others living with psoriasis in our One to One peer-mentor program.

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Psound Bytes Podcast

Check out our Psound Bytes podcast series for people living with psoriatic disease.

Contact the Patient Navigation Center

Access free, personalized guidance and support.

Get in touch today

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